Shweyta Mudgal
January 3, 2023
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

Shweyta Mudgal

Changemaker: Shweyta Mudgal, Founder of Eight Thousand Miles


Where It All Began

Each piece is unique, flawed, and imperfect. And that’s just the way Shweyta Mudgal wants it. Mudgal, founder and lead designer at Eight Thousand Miles, didn’t start out to operate a clothing company with a supply chain that spans the globe.

“My career was in architecture and my husband, daughter and I had the opportunity to relocate to Asia for a couple of years,” she explained. “We spent a year in Singapore before moving to Mumbai for the next year.”

With this move, Mudgal, who is originally from Mumbai, had a chance to reconnect with her family and further explore her passion for art and design through an old Indian tradition of textile printing.

“While in Mumbai, I started working on setting up my small business while reconnecting with my creative side,” she said. The year spent in Singapore had given her the opportunity to travel vastly through Asia. “It was then that I discovered the maker economy of Asia, hand looming, weaving, and a variety of indigenous textile arts.”

Creating Social Change Across Eight Thousand Miles

Inspired by the traditional forms of heritage textile printing, Mudgal combined her passion for design and core belief in creating social change together to start Eight Thousand Miles, an artisan clothing company whose mission—and products—are rooted in social impact.

Eight Thousand Miles helps women and families who are economically disadvantaged in addition to keeping the traditional forms of hand block printing and cloth manufacturing alive.

Today, Mudgal draws the designs for printing and works with hand block artisans to bring her designs to life. Hand block printing is a skill on the brink of extinction, that is passed down from generation to generation in families.

“I’ve worked with the same printing family for five years,” Mudgal said. “In that time, they’ve been able to expand their workshop and provide additional education opportunities for their children.”

All of her pieces are hand drawn, hand printed, hand cut, and hand sewn. She designs the patterns by hand that get carved by hand, onto wooden blocks. Each color of the print forms one block and stamped on organic cotton, color by color, block by block. There is always a variation to each piece. Every piece of cloth is a unique work of art.

Products are sold through a wholesale business model, an annual holiday market in New York City, and an Etsy shop online. She eventually wants to take Eight Thousand Miles all over the world. The big audacious goal is to create small experiential stores where customers can hear the story of how the clothing is made, watch it being made, and meet the artisans.

Now that her family is back living in New York, she travels to India several times a year to meet with the artisans and is always thinking of new product lines. Her advice to anyone who wants to pursue their passion for creating change? “Be kind to yourself, but realize that it takes time.”

Mudgal is especially proud of what she’s accomplished in five years. Building a company takes time, dedication, and community.

“You can’t do everything yourself so don’t be shy asking for help to achieve your goals,” she said. “Also, remember to pay yourself. Honor yourself. Your time and work is valuable.”

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